JACK BUTLAND is aiming to turn the disappointment of England’s crash at the European Under-21 Championships into a positive with Stoke City.
The Under-21s were strongly fancied to mount a major bid for the Euro title after an impressive qualifying campaign but they failed to make it beyond the group stage of the competition after three successive defeats.
It cost coach Stuart Pearce his job and although goalkeeper Butland admits it was a bruising experience, he’s still looking forward to the future with optimism.
Speaking from the Potters pre-season training camp in Evian in southern France, he told us: “We showed in the qualifying how we can play but in the tournament itself we didn’t do ourselves justice.
“That’s something we must look at and try and make sure it doesn’t happen again but at the start of a new season it’s time to step up.
“Football isn’t an easy game; you do have ups and downs – it’s all about how quickly you can recover from the downs and get back to a high.
“You always have an opportunity in football to put things right pretty quickly and that’s what I can do this season, which I’m really looking forward to doing.”
Butland joined the Potters from Birmingham in January but was immediately loaned back to the Championship club for the remainder of the season.
He’s now getting to know his new team-mates and is targeting wrestling the No.1 jersey from the shoulders of Asmir Begovic.
“That’s the aim,” he adds. “I know that won’t be easy because Asmir is a top, top goalkeeper and has done really well for Stoke City in the past but I’m excited about the challenge.
“I’m settling in very well. I came in a few times in the second half of the season which helped me get to know the lads and made it a bit easier when we reported back.
“I’m getting on with the lads and enjoying the training.”